Press Release

Ransomware threats rise in 2023, often with dire consequences

Tue 23 Jan 2024

In 2023, there was a 95% increase in activity on ransomware leak sites compared to the previous year. This is according to a Q3 2023 report by Corvus Insurance.

This surge has seen attacks targeting law firms and municipalities, with potentially devastating effects on businesses and public services. In a recent incident, ransomware attacks led to the shutdown of online systems at three hospitals in Germany, significantly impacting critical patient care.

“These attacks are relentless and have even become life threatening in some instances with critical care equipment such as those in hospitals being shut down or rendered unavailable,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, who highlighted that social engineering is the primary method used by cybercriminals to unleash vicious ransomware attacks.

Combating the Rising Tide of Cyber Threats

Security awareness training provider KnowBe4 released its 2024 Ransomware Hostage Rescue Manual to help organisations navigate through all stages of a ransomware attack, including prevention and recovery strategies.

“The Ransomware Hostage Rescue Manual was developed to provide organizations with the latest tactics and techniques available to effectively fight the latest threats stemming from ransomware attacks,” said Sjouwerman.

While ransomware is a global issue, with no region immune, efforts such as the International Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI) show promise. This initiative, involving coordinated government actions, aims to tackle the challenge, though much work remains to be done in this critical area of cybersecurity.

In November 2023, members of the Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI) signed a joint statement denouncing ransomware and payments being made to cybercriminals.

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